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Joe Machens Great 8 Classic capsules

Here are the capsule previews of teams in the Joe Machens Great 8 Classic:

Battle

Record: 2-6.

Previous tournament appearances: none.

Best finish: n/a.

Notes: The new Columbia high school is in its first year of existence, and has wasted no time getting its feet wet. The Spartans are competing with a junior, five sophomores and two freshmen. … Freshman guard Daviante Osterman leads Battle with 21.4 points per game. Sophomore guard Tyler Gray helps form a formidable backcourt, contributing 11.1 ppg. … John Burns, a former player and coach under Norm Stewart at the University of Missouri, is at the helm for Battle.

Helias

Record: 4-1.

Previous tournament appearances: 15.

Best finish: First (1999, 2000, 2006).

Notes: Josh Buffington is in his sixth season in charge of the Helias Crusaders. … Helias is led by a pair of juniors in Isiah Sykes and Hale Hentges. Sykes is pouring in 25.4 points per game, including a pair of 31-point performances. Hentges adds 10.8 ppg. Colin Caywood missed the first three games of the season, but is adding 9.5 ppg in two games. … Seniors Michael Tannehill and Brock Gerstner join Sykes and Hentges as returning starters.

Jefferson City

Record: 4-3.

Previous tournament appearances: 22.

Best finish: First (1993, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2003-05).

Notes: Jefferson City looks to break a string of three straight years on the wrong side of the bracket. The Jays took sixth place a season ago. … Junior forward O.G. Anunoby is receiving NCAA Division I interest from schools in the Big 12, SEC, Big Ten and Missouri Valley. … Seniors Harold Robertson Jr. and Lucas Theroff round out the three returning lettermen.

Louisville (Ky.) Western

Record: 4-3.

Previous tournament appearances: none.

Best finish: n/a.

Notes: Louisville Western head coach Terrence Moorman is off to a solid start in his second season at the helm of the Warriors. After a 9-13 campaign a year ago, the Warriors are above .500. … Seniors Chris McGraw, Kittrell Withers, Daykice Crumes and Patrick Moore form a strong nucleus. McGraw has received scholarship offers from multiple junior colleges and NCAA Division II schools.

Oxford (Miss.)

Record: 8-1.

Previous tournament appearances: none.

Best finish: n/a.

Notes: Drew Tyler is in his 17th season at the helm of the Chargers, compiling more than 400 victories in his career. … Oxford is coming off an Elite 8 finish in the Mississippi state playoffs, the 15th straight season the Chargers reached that point. … Cortez Jones leads the Chargers with 13 points per game, Shelby McEwen adds 12.7 and Josh Gibbs, David Dennis and Jarkel Joiner all contribute 10 points per game.

Raytown South

Record: 4-2.

Previous tournament appearances: none.

Best finish: n/a.

Notes: After dropping its first two games, Raytown South has responded with four straight victories. … Brad Destreich is in his seventh season leading the Cardinals. … Tyrone Gibbs stars for the Cardinals with 17.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. Sophomore Bryan Trimble adds 11.7 ppg while Robert Hunt dishes out four assists per game. … Senior Rodney Johnson and freshman Elijah Childs also add quality depth.

Tulsa (Okla.) Central

Record: 1-3.

Previous tournament appearances: none.

Best finish: n/a.

Notes: The Braves return just one starter from a season ago. … Freshman Elijah Landrum leads the Braves with 17.3 points per game and is already garnering interest from schools like Oklahoma State and Tulsa. … Junior Derrick Taylor was named one of Oklahoma’s top 100 players before the season but has yet to play in a game. … Lamuel Johnson (12.8 ppg), Chaz Glover (12.3 ppg) and Camron Williams (12.3 ppg) provide scoring punch.

Upper Arlington (Ohio)

Record: 3-1.

Previous tournament appearances: 1.

Best finish: Second (2011).

Notes: Upper Arlington, located just minutes from Ohio State University’s campus, makes another appearance in the event after a strong inaugural showing. … Tim Casey returns for his 13th season at the helm for the Golden Bears. … Senior Kevin Vannatta has signed to play basketball next season at NCAA Division I UNC-Asheville. … Upper Arlington boasts legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus as a famous alum.

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